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1893 Sea Islands Hurricane

1893 Sea Islands Hurricane

Overview
On August 27, 1893 a major hurricane which came to be known as the Sea Islands
Sea Islands
The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States. They number over 100, and are located between the mouths of the Santee and St. Johns Rivers along the coast of the U.S...

 Hurricane
struck the United States near Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

. It was one of two deadly hurricanes during the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season
1893 Atlantic hurricane season
The 1893 Atlantic hurricane season ran through the summer and the first half of fall in 1893. The 1893 season was fairly active, with 12 tropical storms forming, 10 of which became hurricanes. Of those, 5 became major hurricanes...

; the storm killed an estimated 1,000–2,000 people, mostly from storm surge. This is also the storm that made famous United States Life-Saving Service
United States Life-Saving Service
The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers...

 Keeper Dunbar Davis
Dunbar Davis
Dunbar John Davis was a Keeper in the United States Life-Saving Service. During his service he was the Keeper at the Cape Fear Station and was later transferred to the Oak Island Station in 1892. Davis is known for his numerous rescues at sea, but is most famous for his daring rescue during a...

.


Modern analysis of historical records has allowed the history of this storm to be pieced together, although the analysis is only estimations since few accurate meteorological records were taken.

On August 15, a tropical storm formed east of Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

.
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Encyclopedia
On August 27, 1893 a major hurricane which came to be known as the Sea Islands
Sea Islands
The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States. They number over 100, and are located between the mouths of the Santee and St. Johns Rivers along the coast of the U.S...

 Hurricane
struck the United States near Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

. It was one of two deadly hurricanes during the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season
1893 Atlantic hurricane season
The 1893 Atlantic hurricane season ran through the summer and the first half of fall in 1893. The 1893 season was fairly active, with 12 tropical storms forming, 10 of which became hurricanes. Of those, 5 became major hurricanes...

; the storm killed an estimated 1,000–2,000 people, mostly from storm surge. This is also the storm that made famous United States Life-Saving Service
United States Life-Saving Service
The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers...

 Keeper Dunbar Davis
Dunbar Davis
Dunbar John Davis was a Keeper in the United States Life-Saving Service. During his service he was the Keeper at the Cape Fear Station and was later transferred to the Oak Island Station in 1892. Davis is known for his numerous rescues at sea, but is most famous for his daring rescue during a...

.

Meteorological history



Modern analysis of historical records has allowed the history of this storm to be pieced together, although the analysis is only estimations since few accurate meteorological records were taken.

On August 15, a tropical storm formed east of Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

. It likely passed directly through islands on the 16th, leaving their vicinity during the evening of the 17th. It became a hurricane on the 19th, while crossing the Atlantic between the Cape Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles
Lesser Antilles
The Lesser Antilles are a long, partly volcanic island arc in the Western Hemisphere. Most of its islands form the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, with the remainder located in the southern Caribbean just north of South America...

. The hurricane continued to strengthen, attaining Category 3 status on August 22 while located northeast of the Lesser Antilles. By the evening of the 25th, the storm was approaching the Bahamas. During the approach it began to deviate from its westerly course and arc west-northwest. It is believed that the first effects of the storm were beginning to be felt in the Sea Islands area, with the winds steadily increasing during the night of the 25th.

Some of the inhabitants anticipated the storm and left the islands as quickly as possible. The conditions soon rapidly deteriorated on the island and the hurricane passed over sometime on the 26th. By now the hurricane was turning more and more towards the north. It moved parallel to the coast for about one hundred miles before making landfall.

Landfall occurred near Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

 on August 27. Reports from the time say that wind during landfall was around 120 mph (193.1 km/h), making it a category 3 storm. Pressure in Savannah was measured at 960 mbar (28.3 inHg); modern estimates put the pressure around 954 mbar (28.2 inHg) at landfall, and possibly as low as 931 mbar (27.5 inHg) out at sea. This would have made the hurricane most likely stronger than a Category 3 storm on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. The hurricane passed north over South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 on August 28 and moved up the U.S. East Coast before becoming extratropical over Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada
Atlantic Canada is the region of Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec: the three Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia – and Newfoundland and Labrador...

.

Impact



The hurricane carried with it a heavy storm surge
Storm surge
A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea...

 (16 ft (4.9 m), according to Clara Barton
Clara Barton
Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton was a pioneer American teacher, patent clerk, nurse, and humanitarian. She is best remembered for organizing the American Red Cross.-Youth, education, and family nursing:...

), which caused great destruction along the coastline and offshore Sea Islands
Sea Islands
The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States. They number over 100, and are located between the mouths of the Santee and St. Johns Rivers along the coast of the U.S...

 in Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and South Carolina. An estimated 1,000 to 2,000 people were killed (mostly by drowning), putting it on-par with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the 4th deadliest hurricane in US history. This estimate is quite conservative, though, considering the large populations of poor rural African-Americans in the area who had little means of reporting casualties. 30,000 or more were left homeless as nearly every building along the barrier islands was damaged beyond repair.

Although the hurricane had been devastating, the American Red Cross
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross , also known as the American National Red Cross, is a volunteer-led, humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. It is the designated U.S...

 did not arrive until October 1, possibly because of ongoing efforts because of another hurricane that had hit South Carolina in June. After the Red Cross arrived, a warehouse of clothing and food was started at Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort is a city in and the county seat of Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city's population was 12,361 in the 2010 census. It is located in the Hilton Head Island-Beaufort Micropolitan...

 in order to provide services to the affected. Unfortunately, relief efforts were impeded by a second Category 3 hurricane that struck just north of the area, near Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

, on October 13. During a massive 10-month relief campaign, success was declared, with the Sea Islands population living in decent houses producing their own food again. Damages from the storm totaled to at least $1 million (1893 USD).

See also


  • List of tropical cyclones
  • List of Atlantic hurricanes
  • List of New England hurricanes
  • 1893 Cheniere Caminada Hurricane
  • 1893 Charleston Hurricane
  • Dunbar Davis
    Dunbar Davis
    Dunbar John Davis was a Keeper in the United States Life-Saving Service. During his service he was the Keeper at the Cape Fear Station and was later transferred to the Oak Island Station in 1892. Davis is known for his numerous rescues at sea, but is most famous for his daring rescue during a...

  • List of Florida hurricanes
  • List of North Carolina hurricanes

External links